Bleak House Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why is Jo's evidence deemed to be inadmissable?

2. Mr. Skimpole is ___________.

3. It becomes obvious to Jo that Lady Dedlock ___________.

4. What has become of the inheritance which is the issue of the Jarndyce lawsuit?

5. What des Mrs. Snagsby suspect about Jo?

Short Essay Questions

1. With all of his physical and mental deficiencies, why would Grandfather Smallweed make the trip to George's shooting gallery?

2. What makes Lady Dedlock's past such a dreaded secret? Why do they go to such lengths to hide it and why is it threatening to have it revealed by Tulkinghorn?

3. Dickens brings poverty and wealth together to create intrigue in the story's plot. What is young Jo's involvement in the plot and why is he important?

4. What is the point of Esther, Ada, and Richard spending a night at the Jellybys'? What does Dickens accomplish with this break in their journey toward Bleak House?

5. What foreshadows a relationship between Woodcourt and Esther in this chapter?

6. Discuss Krook's Rag and Bottle Shop? Is he a good businessman? Is there anything symbolic about the shop?

7. What is the reader's impression of detective Bucket? How does Dickens accomplish his portrayal of Bucket?

8. Describe Mrs. Jellyby's compassion for humanity. Is she a rational person?

9. Charity and philanthropy seem to be addressed frequently in the story. Mrs. Pardiggle and Mrs. Jellyby have something in common in their efforts to help others. What is it?

10. Mr. Turveydrop, the elder, is a most unusual person. What exactly is his mental condition? Is he a healthy person? Is Dickens being facetious?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Write a well-researched essay on England's "work-houses" for the indigent. You should include how they came to be, what they offered, the conditions present, and whether anything like them exists today. If they were closed, when and why did this take place?

Essay Topic 2

Find two pieces of literary criticism on Bleak House that do not agree with one another. Write an essay that provides your own opinion of the criticisms, whether you agree or disagree with them, and why.

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 22 of Bleak House, Mr. Bucket makes reference to the "fever houses" in London. Research the epidemics of typhus and smallpox that swept through England in the 1800s. What was the statistical impact, how were the diseases treated, and how were they brought under control?

(see the answer keys)

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